UNLV vs. Michigan – Women’s College Basketball Game Recap – March 17, 2023

BATON ROUGE, La. — — Emily Kaiser leads Michigan by far in the basketball equivalent of football helmet stickers for the number of game-winning plays she’s made this season — from diving for loose balls to taking fumbles.

According to coach Kim Barnes, Arico now has more than 40 stickers in her locker — more than twice as many as any teammate. And there will be more before the NCAA Women’s Tournament ends.

Kizer had 18 points and 10 rebounds, Maddie Nolan added 18 points and sixth-seeded Michigan beat 11th-seeded UNLV 71-59 in the first round on Friday, snapping the Rebels’ 22-game winning streak.

“Our team had a little chip on its shoulder,” said Barnes Arico, whose team entered the tournament on a three-of-four losing streak. “We lost a few games but we weren’t completely healthy.

“With everyone back, I think our players really have that confidence,” added Barnes Arico, whose team made the Elite Eight last season. “They have that experience too.”

Leega Brown scored 17 points for the Wolverines (23-9), who used their size and physical advantages to build and maintain a double-digit lead for much of their Greenville Region 2 opener.

UNLV “didn’t see the defense that we play — and the Big Ten plays — night in and night out,” Brown said. “We knew if they were aggressive and hit first, it was going to be very difficult for them to get into the sets they wanted.”

The Wolverines will face third-seeded LSU in the second round.

UNLV (31-3) fell one short of the longest winning streak in program history. His Mountain West Tournament title win tied marks accomplished in the 1978-79 and 1989-90 seasons.

“I couldn’t be more proud of the season we had,” UNLV coach Lindy La Roque said. “Apparently this one stings and will be with us for a while.”

The Rebels entered undefeated (27-0) when scoring 69 or more points, a total they couldn’t reach against a Michigan team that outscored them 41-31.

Essence Booker scored 16 points for UNLV, while Justice Ethridge and Desi-Rae Young scored 11 apiece.

Booker said the Rebels were in their worst shape of the season to start the game.

“It felt like a practice that we came to after vacation,” she said, but added, “I’m going to hold my head high just because I’m proud of what we did and this loss doesn’t dictate all the things that we did and made history in our program .”

Michigan took the lead for good when an offensive rebound by guard Laila Felia set up a second chance for Brown to make it 9-7 in the first quarter.

The Wolverines led by as many as 13 points in the second quarter before Kenadee Winfrey and Ethridge hit 3s during an 8-0 run that helped UNLV pull to within five points.

Michigan led 28-20 at halftime. The Wolverines took a 17-point lead when Kiser scored eight free throws, two layups and a 3 during a 12-0 run that made it 48-31 late in the third period. UNLV got as close as nine points after that.

“We really embrace (defense) in our identity,” Kizer said. “In the first half, when we weren’t scoring, we were trying to get those stops — and that’s got to be your mindset.”


Wearing a brace on his left knee and playing in his third game after missing seven with a leg injury, Felia made an impact on the defensive game. She grabbed a career-high 11 rebounds to go with her eight points — less than half of her 16.9 average.

“The biggest thing for me was just realizing that I’m still trying to get into the offensive of things, I’m missing a lot of plays, I’m still trying to get into the flow of things,” Felia said. “So I thought, ‘Okay, what can I do to help our team?'” And it was rebounding.

“I feel like once I put my mind to something, I can achieve it,” Felia added, “and I wanted to help the team that way.”


UNLV: Shot 28 percent (7-of-25) from 3-point range, well below his season-low average of 33.8 percent entering. … Shot 38% (23-of-60) overall, also well below his season average of 46.3%.

Michigan: Converted 12 offensive rebounds into 13 second-chance points. … Finished with a 20-14 edge in points off turnovers. … Barnes Arico improved to 10-0 in NCAA Tournament first-round games.


AP March Madness coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/march-madness and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-womens-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/AP–Top25

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